Monday, September 21, 2009

YDN: Yale Considers Amending Traffic Safety Policy

Click here for today's excellent reporting on Yale University's new traffic safety initiatives from Victor Zapana of the Yale Daily News.

Several bright yellow fliers taped on boards across campus earlier this month greeted students with dire news, although many have since been covered or removed. “Third pedestrian killed in Downtown New Haven,” the fliers blazed in capital letters. “How safe are the streets surrounding Yale?”

Although it is unclear whether students on campus reacted to — or even saw — the fliers, a half-dozen students interviewed said they were surprised and disgusted by the flier’s statistics. “That’s terrifying,” Travis Gidado ’12 said of the flier. “People dying arbitrarily like that? It’s a problem that should be addressed by any undergraduate institution.”

Several students have approached University officials over the last year. In July 2008, 16 Yale students and alumni signed a letter to Levin asking for a “high-level traffic safety commission” to fix problems with on-campus traffic. In response, Levin arranged a traffic meeting to be held two months later, in November, between the group members and officials. Four months after the meeting, the group, which is affiliated with the New Haven Safe Streets Coalition, submitted a report (PDF here) to Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs Bruce Alexander ’65. The group highlighted existing University programs on traffic safety and provided a list of recommendations for improvement — from a “no-tolerance” policy on cell phone use in cars to the requirement that Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti send campuswide e-mails about traffic incidents.

The article follows in the wake of increased activism for traffic safety on the Yale Campus, including a YDN masthead editorial calling for specific changes to be implemented immediately, an op-ed by a Yale student about the need for specific improvements on Elm Street, and numerous other reports and op-eds. Click here for our ongoing thread about these.

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